China sentences FA officials with former FA chief Chen Xuyuan given life in prison

March 26 – A former president of the Chinese Football Association (CFA), Chen Xuyuan, has been sentenced to life in prison for bribery in the latest crackdown on the country’s corruption-plagued football landscape.

Chen is reported to have accepted more than (€10.3 million) in bribes following one of the biggest anti-corruption probes in China in years.

The sentence came in the wake of investigations into more than a dozen high-level football officials since late 2022.

Jail sentences for corruption were also handed down to Chen Yongliang, former vice-secretary general of the soccer association who received 14 years, and former vice-presidend Yu Hongchen, who received 13 years. Dong Zheng, former The Chinese Super League general manager, was jailed for eight years.

Chen had brought “tremendous damage” to Chinese football, the official Xinhua news agency reported, citing a court ruling. He has had his assets confiscated and was stripped of his political rights for life, a penalty often slapped on disgraced officials, according to state media.

Chinese football has long grappled with corruption, which fans have blamed for the enduring poor performance of the national team.

Chen, 67, took over as head of the Chinese Football Association (CFA) in 2019. In a state TV documentary series on corruption aired in January, he confessed to accepting bribes and described one incident the night before he became CFA chairman when he received backpacks containing cash from two local football officials.

Confessions of corruption have become a common feature on national television since President Xi Jinping came to power.

Former Everton midfielder Li Tie, one-time head coach of the national men’s team, and Du Zhaocai, former CFA vice chairman, both similarly accused of corruption, have yet to receive their judgements.

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1720802059labto1720802059ofdlr1720802059owedi1720802059sni@w1720802059ahsra1720802059w.wer1720802059dna1720802059



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